2014 Premiere Issue

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YOUNG, WILD & FREE Don't call Kimberly Kearney's work pretty. This self-taught Fort Lauderdale artist shows us how art is deeper than that. BY NILA DO SIMON PHOTOGRAPHY BY LOGAN RIGG How would you describe your artwork? It's spiritual experimentation in organized chaos through exploding bedtime stories. How do most of these stories manifest themselves? They manifest under the influence of myth, science, nature, consciousness and the subconscious. I use colors to construct a world or background for a symbol—oftentimes, it's a person or an animal. I like to collect natural materials, such as dead flowers, sticks, rocks and found objects, and the materials begin the storyline or guide the composition of a work. The characters or forms that I use are based on arche- types. I also use text; the power of words is important. Letters bring a visual tex- ture that supplies balance and bring the eye back to something it's familiar with. I love hidden messages and having to look a little closer. I push the pieces into a space that is somewhere between familiarity and the unknown. The begin- ning and end of my pieces manifest by just sitting down and creating. I tap into a rhythm, a sacred space between the piece and myself. What's been your most memorable work? A painting called The Horses of Cockaigne. It began as a snake that was dark. I was using the piece as a way to release negativity. I had this moment where I poured water onto the painting and in a matter of minutes it became two horses. It transpired by accident, and it was a cathartic moment. I saw it as a living metaphor. Which medium do you gravitate to most? I follow the nature of the ideas. Some ideas are paintings, some are drawings, some carry more weight conceptually and they require more space and dimension so they become sculptures and installations. This month, I'm making small paintings, all 11 by 14 inches, and joining them together into blankets, like quilts. I plan to show these works in Artist Kimberly Kearney, 32, has created a world of abstract art that's inspiring and symbolic. 66 Venice

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